(CNN) — Florida prosecutors have offered teenager Kaitlyn Hunt a new plea deal — one that would keep her out of jail, even if she’d have to admit wrongdoing — tied to charges she’s facing for having sex with a then-14-year-old girl, a state attorney said Wednesday.

Hunt, who turned 19 on Wednesday according to her family, is charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious battery after the parents of the 14-year-old went to authorities. Hunt’s family says their relationship was consensual, though in Florida a person under the age of 16 is not legally able to give consent to sex.

Same Sex Legal Issues – Find an Attorney – By Location

Bruce Colton, state attorney for Florida’s 19th judicial circuit, told CNN that his office offered Hunt the latest plea deal in July.

Under its terms, she would plead to two misdemeanor battery counts and one felony count for interference of child custody — a charge that could be expunged later from her record — said Colton.

In exchange, Hunt would be subject to a curfew, would have to do community service and would be on probation, he added. But she would not face jail time, nor would she have to wear an ankle bracelet or have to register as a sex offender.

The state attorney says he feels the plea deal addresses the concerns of Hunt, the younger teenage girl and their respective families.

Hunt’s lawyer replied that her client wouldn’t agree to such a deal, according to Colton. But the state attorney’s office is pressing the lawyer further, asking for documentation that shows Hunt talked about the arrangement with her client and that Hunt formally declined it.

As of Wednesday, that last part hadn’t happened, Colton said.

If Hunt is convicted on all charges she’s currently facing, she could go to prison for 15 years. No trial date has been set.

The current offer is at least the second plea deal offered by prosecutors. Last spring, Hunt rejected one that would have required her to plead no contest to child abuse and, in return, spend two years on strict “community control” followed by one year of probation.

“If this case involved a boy and girl, there would be no media attention to this case,” her attorney Julia Graves said then in a statement. “… If this incident occurred 108 days earlier when (Hunt) was 17, we wouldn’t even be here.”

The case generated buzz when Hunt’s family went public on Facebook, detailing their daughter’s case and essentially accusing the victim’s family of going after their daughter because she is gay.

The victim’s family said that isn’t true; they are only trying to protect their teenage daughter.

Sheriff: Case is about age, not gay rights

Jim and Laurie Smith have told CNN affiliate WPEC that they twice warned Hunt, who was then 18, to stop. They took action after going to their daughter’s bedroom one weekend morning and discovered she was missing.

“We had no other alternative but to turn to the law, use it basically as a last resort,” Jim Smith said.

Hunt’s supporters see the case differently, with some accusing the Smiths of going after the teen because of her sexual orientation.

And for Hunt herself, she doesn’t want to pay for a relationship that, in her opinion, was not wrong.

“I’m scared of losing my life, the rest of my life,” she said earlier this year, “not being able to go to college or be around kids, be around my sisters and my family.”


The activist hacking group believes Kaitlyn Hunt is being prosecuted out of bigotry, but a Florida state attorney says 25 to 30 similar cases, most involving straight couples, are prosecuted each year.

By Sasha Goldstein
The New York Daily NewsAnonymous, the notorious Internet hacktivist group, has called the prosecution of a Florida 18-year-old charged for her relationship with a 14-year-old girl “rotten selective enforcement.”Known for throwing its collective weight behind cases it sees as unjust, the group is calling for Assistant State Attorney Brian Workman to drop the two counts of felony statutory rape levied against Kaitlyn Hunt, 18.Hunt, of Sebastian, Fla., was thrown off her school’s basketball team and expelled and now faces charges after the parents of her partner, who has since turned 15, asked prosecutors to pursue a case. The girls’ basketball coach first found out about the relationship and told the younger girl’s parents.

italy

Demonstrators wearing Anonymous masks. The organization has threatened a Florida state attorney with a push for his resignation if the case continues.

Hunt was arrested in February on two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child ages 12 to 16, jail records show. She turned 18 in August last year, and the teens began talking in September. It allegedly turned sexual in December and January.

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Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, with mom Kelley Hunt Smith. Smith believes the other girl’s parents sought charges because they haven’t come to grips with their daughter’s lesbianism.

Hunt, described as a senior honor roll student and cheerleader, was just months from graduation this spring at Sebastian River High School.  Hunt’s parents, Steven Hunt Jr. and Kelley Hunt Smith, say the case stems from the fact that the teens had gay sex and that Hunt’s girlfriend’s parents have yet to come to grips with it.

The age of consent in Florida is 18.

“It really has nothing to do with the fact that it’s same-sex,” Colton said. “The defendant’s parents are saying that’s why the victim’s parents reported it, because (Hunt) made their daughter become gay. It wouldn’t matter. Once (statutory rape is) reported, law enforcement still investigates.”

Hunt has until Friday to accept a plea deal that would convict her of two lesser felonies. The prosecution would recommend she be given two years of house arrest and one year of probation, Colton said. The three years of court supervision would mean the other girl would be 18 once the sentence was up, Colton said. Hunt would not have to register as a sex offender, and the judge could even choose to not adjudicate her, which means she would not even have a felony criminal record. Each case is different, but Colton said such an offer was made to benefit both Hunt, who wouldn’t serve prison time, and the victim’s parents, who are upset. Colton said dropping the charges to a misdemeanor, which he won’t do, would only allow court supervision for up to one year.

If she goes to trial and is convicted, Hunt would face up to 15 years in prison.

“They want her charged, but they don’t want her to go to prison or jail. They think there should be something stronger than probation,” Colton said of the other girl’s parents. “We think some punishment, like community control, where you’re allowed to go to school or work or church or the doctor, but you’re not allowed to wander around freely, makes sense. There’s some restriction on her to make it more meaningful.”

The case has gained national attention and more than 245,000 signatures on a change.org petition started by Hunt’s father that asks prosecutors to drop the case. A Facebook page about the case has almost 46,000 members, and friends have created a freekate.net website.

“Stop the hate, free Kate,” the rainbow-lettered tagline reads.  Hunt’s parents could not be reached for comment.

Anonymous, known recently for its activism during the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case and jump-starting the Rehtaeh Parson’s rape case, wrote in a letter that the case should be dropped and that the prosecutors are “bigots” filing “erroneous charges.”

“We hope you’ll keep all of this in mind because the next petition we put 200,000 signatures on will have your name on it (maybe you Brian Workman), or your bosses name on it, and we will be calling for a resignation,” the letter reads. “That petition will be delivered by hundreds of men and women, holding signs and wearing masks, yelling into megaphones and getting all up in your business, right on your doorstep. We can afford to stand there for some time, because, LOL, there are a million more of us than there are of you.”


Ruth DiTucci of SyndicatedNews.NET reached out to Kaitlyn Hunt’s attorney of record, A. Julia Graves who responded via email with this statement:

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF KAITLYN HUNT from her attorney A. Julia Graves. P.A.

The actions in filing a detailed Notice of Violation of Pretrial Conditions such as the one filed in this case is almost a crime in and of itself.  Of course this is my opinion as her counsel and as a parent.  I fully understand what the law is.

I do not know who is managing the case at this point as I received a plea offer from Mr. Workman on Friday August 9th after 3:00 pm with no deadline to accept and a request to respond in writing for post conviction purposes one way or another.

We quietly kept this to ourselves and were in the process of discussing the plea that takes time to answer all questions and fully understand the consequences.

The last thing any attorney wants is a client entering a plea quickly without being fully informed.  We have had motions scheduled on August 14th since June and we attended to take care of the closure of the courtroom motion by the State and a few depositions and address issues regarding witnesses.

There was nothing out of the ordinary, other than it was made known a copy of the plea offer had been given to the media.  Obviously until a case is settled and pled to it is imperative to still continue to prepare as though you are going to trial.

The next morning while I was in a motion hearing with another judge and client, the Notice of Violation of Pretrial Conditions was filed.   The State did not get that much information that day as I received a copy to my office at 9:43 am.   I only had seen it ten minutes before it was published on TCPalm.  Prosecutors do have ethical obligations.

I practice Family Law as well as Criminal.  One important aspect to always remember and stress to the client is “this is a public record”.  What you file in a motion or petition is out there for the world to view or your children to look at later. Always be mindful of “airing your dirty laundry in public”.

I have made every effort to keep the alleged victim out of the public eye.  I have not taken her depositions and do not plan to until the very last.  While I feel what has happened in the past few months is an abomination to the alleged victim, I advocate for Kaitlyn.  In advocating for her, that sometimes calls for taking measures that are not pleasant in asking questions.

If this matter had been considered properly in the beginning for what it truly is, we would not be where we are today – and that is with two devastated lives and two devastated families.

It looks as though we have an alleged victim who doesn’t agree with how things are being handled by the State, her parents or their attorney.  She has felt compelled to do what she thought was the only thing to save Kaitlyn from the State and her parents and that was to reach out and let Kaitlyn know this was not her idea or what she wants.  I am totally cognizant that she is a minor.

For Chris Taylor to file a notice with those kinds of details in it, I just cannot begin to fathom why that was necessary.  The same Notice with general language could have been accomplished and reached the same objective, to revoke her bond.  What happened to a statement like “numerous texts and inappropriate language” without details?  With today being the first day of school in Indian River County, I can only imagine the chatter at the school.  Even if not said directly to the alleged victim, it is going to be discussed behind her back.  You can’t stop it.

Nonetheless it comes down to we still have a situation of two teenagers who were in school together and involved in a consensual relationship.  Yes one that under the current law is a crime, but still consensual.  It was brought to an abrupt end and the older “adult” teen faces up to thirty years in prison.  The younger teen cannot comprehend the seriousness of the matter because it was something she consented to.

Her opinion is ignored by the State, interrogated by the Sheriff’s Department, taken to a church that labels being gay a sin, has the Bible thrown at her, all of her things in her room boxed up and taken from her, is apparently hit by her parents, and clearly yelled at for lying by her father in the presence of Detective Shepherd at the school in a subsequent interview.

How could she not be confused, scared and feel as though this is all her fault and no one is listening?  She already tried to speak to Kaitlyn’s mother, Kelley, who shut her down.

So she turns to the only person who could possible understand in her eyes and a person she clearly does not want to see hurt and that is Kaitlyn.  She wants to try to save her and in doing so she just causes the walls to continue to tumble down.

And here we are.  Now there are new charges that set us all back even further.  The defense of Kaitlyn Hunt will continue until the matter is either resolved or determined in a court of law, not public opinion.

LAW OFFICE OF A. JULIA GRAVES, P.A.
Attorney for Kaitlyn Hunt
2205 14th Avenue, Suite 201
Vero Beach, Florida 32960
(772) 257-5079 / 257-5083 (fax)
[email protected]

 

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